An audit of the government program in five large states found about 65,000 instances of beneficiaries improperly obtaining potentially addictive drugs at a cost of about $65 million during 2006 and 2007 — including thousands of prescriptions written for dead patients or by people posing as doctors.
The report, by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), represents "an enormous opportunity to save money," says Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., who has scheduled a hearing today on the findings.
When bills for the doctors' visits are added, along with the potential for Medicaid fraud in states not reviewed by the GAO audit, Carper said, "we're talking hundreds of millions of dollars."
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
About 300 health care workers rallied Tuesday in Albany to protest a new state rule requiring health care workers in hospitals, outpatient clinics and home care services to get vaccinated against both the seasonal flu and the newer H1N1 flu.
The rule is unusual among states because it doesn’t allow workers to abstain for religious reasons; the only exemptions are when the vaccine is medically contraindicated. Exempted workers may need to be reassigned to protect patients.
The state issued the emergency regulation in August to protect patients from acquiring influenza from infected health care workers. Only 40 percent to 50 percent of health care workers got vaccinated when it was encouraged but voluntary, Dr. Richard Daines, state health commissioner, said in an open letter to health care workers.
ABOUT two-thirds of Americans object to online tracking by advertisers — and that number rises once they learn the different ways marketers are following their online movements, according to a new survey from professors at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Berkeley.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
...according to the proposed bill, all providers of the Russian Internet will be forced to provide information on their users, and the new law will impose maximum sentences for hackers to state websites and give the government the right to block the Internet during investigations or emergency situations.
Interestingly, the ten states with the highest median real estate taxes paid voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, and nine of the ten states with the lowest median real estate taxes paid voted for John McCain (New Mexico voted for President Obama).
It is time for an individual health insurance mandate for a minimum level of health coverage. Catastrophic coverage would be an appropriate place to start.
At a 50 to 1 leverage ratio, the FHA will soon have a smaller capital cushion than did investment bank Bear Stearns on the eve of its crash. (See nearby table.) Its loan delinquency rate (more than 30 days late in payments) is now above 14%, or from two to three times higher than on conventional mortgages. Its cash reserve ratio has fallen by more than two-thirds in three years.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Bill Frist wants us all to know he is big-hearted and cares about the uninsured. Fair enough, but I am not sure how that distinguishes him from anyone else. The question is this: how do we have a healthcare system that doesn't bankrupt our government, preserves our freedoms, and allows everyone to participate.
Click HERE for video.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
While these questions are not required by federal law, the following are ways we usethe information: ensuring response accuracy and completeness, contacting respondents with incomplete or missing information, and assigning cases to census operations designed to improve accuracy.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
For most of the meeting Maffei remained seated until someone had the nerve to ask him if he’s read the health care bill in its entirety. He got out of his chair and started wagging his finger at us, saying he was insulted. He went on to explain to the unwashed masses the history of massive legislation and how very complicated is, which is why we have people like him to represent us. After we left, a friend of mine said she needed to go home and take a shower.
As the Design Director for Obama's 2008 campaign, Scott Thomas led a now-historic political campaign, in which branding, design, and the web played a truly pivotal role. Likening the experience to "building an airplane in flight," Scott talks about the creative's need for triage, the crucial role of incremental design improvements, and the importance of getting back to the hand and keeping things simple.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
"You heard the mantra, 'Tax the rich, tax the rich,"' Paterson said Wednesday at a gathering of newspaper editors at an Associated Press event in Syracuse. "We've done that. We've probably lost jobs and driven people out of the state."
"People aren't wedded to a geographic place as they once were. It's a different world," New York Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch said.
Ravitch said last year's surcharge on income taxes for the next three years won't likely meet budget expectations. He said Albany must look to politically difficult spending cuts, rather than more taxes, to meet a deepening shortfall that Paterson estimated Wednesday could reach $3 billion.
"I don't think they have any choice," Ravitch said. "In my personal opinion, we're at the outer limits of the elasticity of our tax system."
Along with these Republican Senators
Lamar Alexander -- TN
Robert F. Bennett -- UT
Thad Cochran -- MS
Susan Collins -- ME
Orrin G. Hatch -- UT
Kay Bailey Hutchison -- TX
Mike Johanns -- NE
Richard G. Lugar -- IN
Lisa Murkowski -- AK
Richard C. Shelby -- AL
Olympia J. Snowe -- ME
George V. Voinovich -- OH
Roger Wicker -- MS
These Republican Senators voted AGAINST all five:
Tom Coburn -- OK
Jim DeMint -- SC
John Ensign -- NV
John McCain -- AZ
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The administration kicked off an online contest on Wednesday that will reward a federal employee who proposes the best idea to cut the budget. The winner will meet with the president, and the proposal will be included in his fiscal 2011 budget plan.
The competition is hosted on SAVEAward.gov, a secure Web site operated by the Office of Management and Budget and restricted to government workers. The SAVE site, which stands for Securing Americans Value and Efficiency, allows individuals to submit cost-saving ideas until Oct. 14 -- without the proposals being judged by supervisors. A team of OMB officials will recommend the best submissions to President Obama and a winner will be announced in November.
Now focus on the spectacle of that handful of men and women daring to think they can design the medical marketplace. They would empower an even smaller group to determine–for millions of diverse Americans–which medical treatments are worthy and at what price.
How do these arrogant, presumptuous politicians believe they can know enough to plan for the rest of us? Who do they think they are? Under cover of helping uninsured people get medical care, they live out their megalomaniacal social-engineering fantasies–putting our physical and economic health at risk in the process.
Will the American people say “Enough!”?
Ok, let me get this straight, the Obama administration has crawled into bed with big Pharma. They negotiated a deal in complete secrecy for the support of big pharma in exchange for lots of favorable PR and paid media. This Democratic Senator has clearly been informed of the details of the deal and he thinks the deal ought to be honored.
Where are the socialists when you need them? HELLO!! Look, I know that lots of extreme terms have been used by a lot of people but I believe this deal embodies the classic definition of fascism. What else would you call it?
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Do you think the recent actions by the National Government are threatening Venezuela’s democracy?
Source: Venezuelan Institute for Data Analysis (IVAD)
Methodology: Interviews with 1,200 Venezuelan adults, conducted from Aug. 18 to Aug. 27, 2009. Margin of error is 2.4 per cent.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - An insurance company has agreed to pay almost $75,000 in fines to settle a religious discrimination claim.
The Justice Department announced the settlement Friday involving Des Moines, Iowa-based Guideone Mutual Insurance Co. and two authorized agents, which had advertised special homeowners' and renters' benefits called FaithGuard to "churchgoers" and "persons of faith."
Under the agreement, the defendants must pay a total of $29,500 to three plaintiffs and $45,000 as a civil penalty.
GuideOne had offered the FaithGuard endorsement in at least 19 states. It must cease the practice under the agreement.
The lawsuit was the result of complaints filed by an atheist, an agnostic, and the Lexington Fair Housing Council. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in conjunction with a proposed consent decree.
WASHINGTON — The Nevada Cancer Institute, in Las Vegas, may not have a national reputation as a clinic or a research facility. But it does have the ear of its state’s senior senator, Harry Reid, the Democratic leader. And that is why the four-year-old institute could reap a big gain in federal reimbursements as part of the health care overhaul.After months of noisy public debates over big policy ideas like universal coverage and a public insurance option, the health care legislation is getting down to the fine print. This is the time when powerful members of Congress customarily tuck in their pet projects, either to please their constituencies or as sweeteners to win the votes of lawmakers who may be sitting on the fence.
WASHINGTON – The government is investigating afor allegedly trying to scare seniors with a mailer warning they could lose important benefits under in Congress.
Thelaunched its investigation of Humana after getting a complaint from , D-Mont., a senior lawmaker usually viewed as a reliable ally of the insurance industry.
"It is wholly unacceptable forto mislead seniors regarding any subject — particularly on a subject as important to them, and to the nation, as ," Baucus said Monday, disclosing the HHS investigation.
., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is cooperating with the investigation and stopped the mailer earlier this month, company spokesman Tom Noland said Monday.
When it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions, Energy Secretary Steven Chu sees Americans as unruly teenagers and the Administration as the parent that will have to teach them a few lessons.
Speaking on the sidelines of a smart grid conference in Washington, Dr. Chu said he didn’t think average folks had the know-how or will to to change their behavior enough to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
Monday, September 21, 2009
How important it is for you to live in a country that is governed democratically? (Totals reflect the average of all nations polled).
Not very important
Not at all important
Methodology: Interviews with 21,285 respondents in 24 nations that comprise 64 percent of the world's population, including most of the largest nations--China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia and South Africa--as well as Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Germany, Great Britain, France, Israel, Poland, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kenya, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, the Republic of Korea, and Palestine. The margins of error range from +/-2 to 4 per cent. The surveys were conducted from Apr. 4 to Jun. 30, 2009.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
The referendum is to be held Thursday, Oct. 1. If approved, the measure would increase the wheel tax to $50 which would allow funding for a new LHS and to buy property for a future replacement building for WHS.As written, the wheel tax would drop back to $25 once the debt is retired on a new LHS and the property for a new WHS.Early voting continues now through Saturday, Sept. 26. You may vote at the Wilson County Election Commission on East Main Street in Lebanon, at the Mt. Juliet Community Center in Charlie Daniels Park in Mt. Juliet and at the Watertown Community Center in Watertown. Polling places are open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday.
ABC News/Washington Post Poll. Sept. 10-12, 2009. N=1,007 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.5 (for all adults).
"Do you approve or disapprove of the way Obama is handling [see below]?"
"The federal budget deficit" Half sample (Form B)
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Where: Nashville's Municipal Auditorium
In July, The Mail on Sunday revealed that the Valuation Office Agency is compiling a database that will give all 23million homes in England one of 100 ‘dwelling house codes’, which are expected to form the basis of a council tax revaluation if Labour wins the next Election.
Middle-income families are likely to bear the brunt of any tax increases as the Government struggles to fill the black hole on its balance sheet caused by the recession.
The handbook, complete with audio commentary, sets out how inspectors can catch homeowners who have so-called ‘value significant’ features.
One exercise reads: ‘Your office has been informed the roofspace has been converted into a fourth bedroom. Your task is to establish whether existing details [for the house] require amendment.’
Another states that ‘information has been obtained’ about a house that has been ‘extended to include another living room and two new bedrooms with en suites. It also emerges that the house has a partial view of the mountains’.
Voters are overwhelmingly in favour of cutting public spending rather than tax rises to close the budget black hole, a Sunday Times/YouGov poll finds today.
Sixty per cent want to shrink the size of the state to curb the £175 billion deficit amid mounting government disarray over the public finances.
The survey finds that just 21% would prefer the government to raise taxes to close the growing gap between what the Treasury spends and what it receives in revenue.
The findings will put further pressure on Gordon Brown, who has already announced plans for increases in income tax for the wealthy and in National Insurance.
Daniel Hannan was RIGHT:
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
SEPTEMBER 12, 2009 12PM-5PM!
Please join us for a day of Remembrance & Patriotism!
National Anthem performed by Lori Finchum
Presentation of Colors, Marine Veterans
Ray Stevens, performing his new song 10%!
Danielle Carroll, Scott Ewing, Lesley McDaniel
Jeff Senters and Patriot Pride Band
Ben Cunningham, TN Tax Revolt,
Michael DeGiorno, 99.7 Super talk,
Don Strong US Congress Candidate 4th District,
Dave Evans, US Congress Candidate 5th District
Charities that we are supporting
Among Californians overall, 73% said state government was run for the benefit of the few.Among those who vote most often, that number rose to 79%. Only 23% of Californians said they could trust the state government to "do what is right" most or all of the time. Three out of every five Californians said they believe that government wastes "a lot" of the money paid in taxes. Only 5% said there was little waste.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Twenty-two years ago, the federal government started keeping a list of nurses, nurse aides, pharmacists and pharmacy aides who've been disciplined by state licensing boards. It's called the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank.
But hospitals and nursing homes aren't allowed to see the database.
By law, it was supposed to be open to hospitals and nursing homes when they hire staff and want to run a background check. But the Department of Health and Human Services never completed the regulation implementing the law. Turns out, slow-moving bureaucracy is the main culprit.
"There's really no reason for it at all," says Dr. Sidney Wolfe, who runs the consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen's Health Research Group.
Wolfe notes that there are more than 102,000 nurses, nurse aides, pharmacists and pharmacy assistants who've been disciplined and included in the registry, but that hospitals and nursing homes can't check the data bank. There's also a separate, national data bank of doctors who've been disciplined, he adds, and that list can be checked by hospitals.
The current House version of ObamaCare (H.R. 3200) goes much further. Section 225(A) grants Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius tremendous discretionary authority to regulate health-care workers "under the public health insurance option." Monopoly bargaining and compulsory union dues may quickly become a required standard resulting in potentially hundreds of thousands of doctors and nurses across the country being forced into unions.
Ms. Sebelius will be taking her marching orders from the numerous union officials who are guaranteed seats on the various federal panels (such as the personal care panel mentioned above) charged with recommending health-care policies. Big Labor will play a central role in directing federal health-care policy affecting hundreds of thousands of doctors, surgeons and nurses.
Consider Kaiser Permanente, the giant, managed-care organization that has since 1997 proudly touted its labor-management "partnership" in scores of workplaces. Union officials play an essentially co-equal role in running many Kaiser facilities. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney called the Kaiser plan "a framework for what every health care delivery system should do" at a July 24 health-care forum outside of Washington, D.C.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear visited Fort Campbell Wednesday for a ceremonial signing of House Bill 3, which exempts all active-duty military personnel from the commonwealth's income tax. The exemption also includes members of the reserve and National Guard.
"This is meaningful to Kentucky," Beshear said after the ceremony. "This is our small way of saying thank you to soldiers for serving for Kentucky and the entire country."
After signing the bill, the governor said it was also a way to help Kentucky compete with Tennessee, which has no state income tax.